Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez is releasing his first TV ad for his congressional bid, introducing himself to voters and promising to “get results” in Washington, D.C.
The 30-second ad is titled “Answering the Call.” Giménez is running as a Republican in Florida’s 26th Congressional District. Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell currently holds that seat.
“He’s been leading for years, answering the call as a firefighter, paramedic, then chief,” the ad’s narrator begins.
“As Mayor, he cut his office budget, even his own salary, and then delivered the largest tax cut in county history. So when the COVID crisis came he answered the call again — working to keep us safe, making the tough choices, getting us what we need — because Carlos Giménez knows politicians fighting in Congress won’t get results. But he will.”
While discussing the Mayor’s salary cut, the ad displays a graphic noting he took a 50% paycut. Giménez did back such a cut upon taking office, reducing the Mayor’s salary from $300,000 per year to $150,000 per year. However, he secured a 67% pay raise in 2018, which pushed that number back up to $250,000 per year.
That’s still a net reduction of where the Mayor’s salary sat prior to taking office, but does add important context to the ad’s claim his salary was cut by 50%.
Giménez led Miami-Dade County as the region served as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida. While the Mayor argues his leadership has been a success, Mucarsel-Powell and fellow Democrats have repeatedly criticized his leadership, arguing his decision to reopen the county in May led to a spike in cases over the summer.
Those numbers have since declined sharply.
The Mayor’s ad release comes the same day Mucarsel-Powell launched a new ad campaign of her own, touting her own push for COVID-19 relief in Congress. In a statement alongside his ad release, Giménez argued he would better serve the district in navigating the future fallout from COVID-19.
“I’ve answered the call for my community as a firefighter, SWAT medic, fire chief and Mayor and I am answering the call again to go to Washington and help fix a system that is badly broken,” Giménez said.
“Here in South Florida, we’ve helped grow the economy and create jobs, while balancing a budget of $8.9 billion every year without tax increases and returning the largest tax cut in county history back to taxpayers. And we’ve done it by working with all stakeholders and all parties to do what’s best for our community. That’s what I’ve done as Mayor, and that’s what I’ll do in Congress.”
The district covers portions of Miami-Dade County as well as Monroe County.